New Mexico Senate approves Medical Marijuana Reforms

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on February 23, 2017.

The New Mexico state Senate on Monday approved reforms to the state’s medical marijuana program that would make room for larger crops to satisfy demand and cover new medical conditions to use marijuana as a treatment.

Senators voted 29-11 in favor of Senate Bill 177, sponsored by Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.

“That bill had numerous checks and balances,” McSorley told the Senate. “But over the last 10 years that bill has become somewhat outdated and some of those provisions need to be revised. This is the first amendment we’ve done in 10 years to the medical cannabis program. And there’s one thing this bill does. It helps the patients.”

If approved by the House of Representatives and signed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, the Bill would add to the existing fourteen medical conditions that qualify for a treatment with marijuana, and allow visitors enrolled in other state medical marijuana programs to buy in New Mexico State.

The Bill would add the condition of “substance abuse disorder” for those undergoing treatment for addiction to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use.

The measure would also increase the maximum number of plants for each grower once the number of registered patients statewide reaches 35,000. At present, there are around 32,000 registered patients, with growers limited to 450 plants each.

Earlier bill provisions were dropped that would have allowed military veterans to qualify as patients without a diagnosis. McSorley offered an amendment, which passed unanimously, to remove a provision that would have allowed all military veterans regardless of medical conditions to be admitted to the medical marijuana program.

The reforms would address concerns voiced by patients and would lead more people to get access to medical marijuana treatment, McSorley said.

In 2007, medical marijuana was legalized in New Mexico State.

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